Family Meals spell S – U – C – C – E – S - S. What does “family mealâ€‌ mean to you? Is it individually grazing in the kitchen? Dining

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Family Meals

Family Mealsspell

S U C C E S - S1Welcome to: Family Meals Spell S-U-C-C-E-S-S Introduce self as needed, or thank the person who introduced you. Does everyone have the handouts? (describe what you are providing)This program is provided as part of the Indiana State Nutrition Action Plan. This plan, called SNAP for short, is a joint effort between Indiana Cooperative Extension, the Indiana WIC Program, the Indiana Dept of Education, and the PTA. The goal of SNAP is to provide participants in these programs information on the importance of family meals. Lets begin our discussion by looking at what we mean by family mealtime, then well look at how mealtime has changed and the consequences of those changes. Most importantly well look at ways we can promote family meals in our community. Because Family Meals spell SUCCESS!

What does family meal mean to you?Is it individually grazing in the kitchen?Dining from the dashboard of a car?2If you were to draw a picture of a family meal on this chalkboard, or write out a definition, what would it be?

Allow participants to share with one another, or brainstorm together as a group.

3Does this picture fit your description, or does something else come to mind for you? It is so easy to think others eat the way we eat.

How often do you think families in our community eat together like this?

Is there time for meals?

4Think about the schedules of children and families in our community between the end of the school day and bedtime? How often in a week are family meals a part of that schedule?Is a meal eaten in a car between activities a good substitute?How about a meal eaten from a concession stand?Is take-out eaten in front of the TV just as beneficial?

Are family meals important?

How frequent does your family have a meal?

5Is it important that people experience family meals? If everyone gets fed, does it really matter how? If less people are having family meals, does that matter?These are reasonable questions to ask because we are no longer eating together as much as we did in times past. In fact, most surveys of American families find that only about one-third eat together at least once a day. Nearly a third rarely eat together and the other third eat together sporadically. But this does vary with the life cycle.

2005 CASA National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse X: Teens and Parents http://www.casacolumbia.org% Teens Having Family Dinners 7X/Week6Look at this graph.As a child grows older the frequency of family meals declines. Each year since 1998, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (called CASA for short), has surveyed thousands of teens between the ages of 12 and 17. You can access this report at the CASA web site which is listed on your handout. Notice the steep decline in how many teens have family dinners on a daily basis between ages of 12 and 17. The number of teens eating with their families every day drops by more than half during this six year period. You might ask, why would the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University be tracking the prevalence of family meals? Well, back in 1996 they made a discovery When they were looking for those things, if any, that differentiated the kids who engaged in destructive behaviors like smoking, drinking and drugs, from those who did not, they examined all kinds of variables accounting for race, class, and ethnicity. The results surprised them. They found that eating dinner with their families was more predictive of these behaviors than many things they had expected like church attendance or grades in school. More on that laterWhat happened to the family meal?Conflicting schedulesBoth parents workingLong work hoursSplit shiftsMeetingsSports practicesMusic lessons Cooking skills

7Why are fewer families, especially during the teen years, eating regular family meals than in years past? What do they site as the culprit? This list is no surprise:Conflicting schedules, both parents working, often long work hours and split shifts, too many meetings, and kids practices for sports and musicAll of these things lead to fatigue and the feeling there is not enough time and energy for planned meals . . . Is there anyone in this room that feels like they dont attend enough meetings and theyd like their children to be more scheduled into activities?

Also, we are seeing more people with limited skills in food preparation, which leads to a lack of confidence in their ability to get a meal on the table.So, even though surveys indicate that the overwhelming majority of parents say they think family meals are important, they arent having them as often as theyd like.

How we eat today . . .

8This in turn motivates drive-thru eating and microwave dinners in front of the TV, or each family member grabbing what they want, and eating when and where they want. Is this a problem? Lets find out

How about YOU?Reflect on your own experiences with family mealtime . . .Share your best memories of family meals growing upWould someone like to describe your family meals ?10Before we do, lets reflect on our own experiences with family meals.Either turn to the person sitting next to you, or break into small groups of 3 or 4 and spend a couple of minutes sharing your own experiences. Allow a few of minutes to discuss.As time allows, ask people to share.S = Smarter Children language acquisition (C. Snow, Harvard Grad School of Education) vocabulary = better readers and students5 or more family dinners per week likelier to receive either all As or mostly As and Bs

11First, Ill mention a few findings relating the role of family meals to academic performance.A study directed by Dr. Catherine Snow at Harvards Graduate School of Education, followed 65 families over 15 years, looking at how mealtime conversations play a critical role in language acquisition in young children. Mealtime conversations were tape recorded and analyzed. They found that the conversations that occur around the family table teach children more vocabulary and forms of discourse than children learn when you read to them. Educators know that improved vocabularies lead to better readers. And, better readers do better in all school subjects.Other researchers and surveys have also found an association between eating more frequent family meals and academic success. These are listed on your handout and resource list.2005 CASA National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse X: Teens and Parents http://www.casacolumbia.org

% Teens Who Get As/Bs in School by Frequency of Family Dinners12Here are the CASA findings relating grades in school to frequency of family meals. According to their most recent report, teens who have dinner with their families seven times a week are almost 40 percent more likely to say they receive mostly As and Bs in school compared to teens who have dinner with their families two or fewer times a week.Why is this? Is it because smarter parents eat family meals? Is it because of the language acquisition and conversation? Is it because parents have an opportunity to talk about school, or remind children about homework?If a family starts eating meals together, will grades improve? We need to research that questionMaybe one of things schools could do to improve grades would be to prohibit, or at least limit, meetings and sporting events during supper hour. Wouldnt that be revolutionary?!Academic PerformanceTeens who have frequent family dinners are likelier to get better grades in school and higher academic performance is associated with lower substance abuse risk.

Jeopardys Million Dollar Man Ken Jennings14One more piece of anecdotal evidence in support of mealtime and academic performance:Is this a familiar face to you?Ken Jennings became quite the phenomenon as Jeopardys highest paid champion. When he was asked what he attributed his success to in an interview on the show, one of the things he mentioned was how his family ate dinner together every night and how much he learned from the discussions that took place around the table.Dinner Conversation TopicsFriends and Social ActivitiesCurrent EventsFamily Issues Religion Curfew Peer pressureSubstance abuse

U = Unlikely to smoke

http://www.casafamilyday.org16U stands for children who are unlikely to smoke, drink, take drugs, or participate in other risk-taking behaviors.

In 2001, CASA launched Family Day as an annual event it is celebrated every year on the fourth Monday of September. Why would CASA promote family meals? The 2003 slogan says it well it is one habit that prevents another.CASA research has shown that the more often young people sit down at the dinner table with their families the less likely they are to smoke, drink, or use illegal drugs.

5 or more family dinners verses 2 or less are:Three times likelier to try marijuanaTwo and a half times likelier to smoke cigarettes dailyMore than 2x times likelier to drink alcohol or get drunk weekly

5 or more dinners verses 2 or less:3 Times likelier to report that half or more of their friends use marijuanaTwice as likely to know a friend or classmate who uses Ecstasy80% likelier to know a friend or classmate who abuses prescription drugs40% likelier to know a friend who uses acid cocaine or heroin

2005 CASA National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse X: Teens and Parents http://www.casacolumbia.orgFamily Dinners and Teen Substance-Abuse Risk19Their (CASA) surveys consistently find each year that teens who have dinner with their families two nights a week or less are at double the risk of substance abuse as teens who have frequent family dinners. Consider this:Teens who eat dinner with their parents twice a week or